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HOME : Pre-Columbian Art : Mayan Jade : Mayan Ceremonial Greenstone Dagger
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Mayan Ceremonial Greenstone Dagger - PF.3552
Origin: Guatemala
Circa: 6 th Century AD to 9 th Century AD

Collection: Pre-Columbian
Medium: Greenstone

Location: United States
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The summit of the classical age in Ancient Meso-America, was reached by the Mayans in their great temple cities. In those temple cities, great artistic expressions such as murals and sculptures flourished. It is during this classical period in which artists refined their skills to represent the human forms, deities, and other symbolic art works. Used in various rituals and ceremonies, their art embodied rich symbolism, laden with complex meanings, which largely remained esoteric. Carved skillfully of green stone, this ceremonial dagger radiates with its simple and graceful beauty. The dark green color of the stone accentuates the sharp contour shape of the dagger, and the peaked triangular shape of the knife's point is very poignant. The top of the dagger is decorated with a portrayal of Mayan face which displays the characteristic Mayan facial features--the heavy lidded eyes, high cheek bones, hooked nose, and the fleshy lips. It also wears a long, curved headdress that stands high on top of the head. Such beautiful sculpture most likely was created for a special function, perhaps for the use in rituals or as a ritual offering. Mayans religiously performed sacrificial rituals in which they offered humans and prized animals to please their gods. Whether the dagger was actually used in sacrifices or was offered as a valuable item, its beauty and special quality are still clear to us. Once held ardently by an ancient Mayan hand, this dagger embodies fascination, mystery and the esoteric history of Maya. L. 31cm(12 1/8IN) - (PF.3552)


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